Song Of The Day 6/16/2016: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds feat. Kylie Minogue – “Where the Wild Roses Grow”

Improbable Collaborations – The grisliest rock album of all time remains Murder Ballads from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds from 1996. I can't think of anything that surpasses the sheer body count on this album, no matter how many black metal units festooned in entrails you throw at me. Murder Ballads is the most unsettling because Cave is, above all else, an expert storyteller. Nobody else could really delve into the intricacies of murder, including general game plan and fleeting indications of motive, as Cave did on "O'Malley's Bar," a 14-minute epic I still can't experience without checking the fine print on my medical plan.

"Where the Wild Roses Grow" is on Murder Ballads, and it paired Nick Cave with fellow Australian and reconfigured teen pop singer Kylie Minogue. It was a gigantic chart single in most areas outside North America. Cave wrote it with Minogue in mind after harboring what he called a quiet "obsession" with her for seven years. Normally obsessions don't end this positively. Well, in the song it definitely doesn't end very positively, but the kinship between Cave and Minogue appears to have been surprisingly chummy, despite protestations from her management when the whole idea came up: "It was a miracle that she agreed to do that song," Cave said in 2014. "I think her management wasn't that happy about it – I mean we were just a bunch of junkies sitting in the studio, and she walked in full of life and love and goodwill." The two characters aren't mutually exclusive, are they? Are they?

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